HP thought it would be nifty to use Joan Jett's "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" in ads for its new touch-screen computers. And it was pretty nifty! The song is catchy and fun, and works very well in the context of the ad (which is after the jump). Only one problem: It was written by glam-rock singer Gary Glitter, who was convicted of child molestation in Vietnam and child porn possession in the U.K. This is terrible for HP on so many levels, starting with the fact that it enriched a child predator.
ContactMusic.com reported Glitter earned $156,000 in royalties from the ads (which have since had the music switched). So the company is putting money in the pockets of a child molester fresh out of prison. Cue outraged child-abuse groups in 3... 2... oh wait that already happened: The HP campaign "shows a distinct lack of sensitivity," ChildAbuse-watch.net told ContactMusic.com.
But it's worse than all that. This was a song about TOUCHING for a computer about TOUCHING, which is one of the last sorts of products you want associated in any way with a child molester, if only because it's the sort of thing people will remember for years every time they interact with it.
Then there's the bad precedent. Due to the whole "touch" angle, HP really had no choice but to pull the ads. But as Ad Age notes, this opens a can of worms. What other sorts of crimes should bar musicians from being included in a typical corporate ad campaign? Child molestation should. Recreational drug use shouldn't. But there's a lot of room in between.
We've been here too long tryin' to get along
Pretending that you're oh so shy
I'm a natural man doin' all I can
My temp'rature is runnin' high
...Ev'ry growin' boy needs a little joy, all you do is sit an' stare
Beggin' on my knees, baby won't you please
Run your fingers thru' my hair
My my my whisky & Dry, don't it make you feel so fine?
Right or wrong, don't it turn you on
Can't you see we're wastin' time?